Miss Aislinn Lalor1, Associate Professsor Ted Brown1, Professor Terry Haines1
1Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Aim: To examine what consultations and discussions older adults have with health professionals regarding their sleep quality and the management of any sleep impairments during and following hospitalisation.
Method: A mixed methods prospective longitudinal cohort study of hospitalised older adults (n=311) was completed. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index was used to gather self-reported sleep quality of older participants. Open ended questions regarding discussions of the management of sleep impairments were also examined. Participants were surveyed whilst they were an inpatient and at 3- and 6-months post-discharge from hospital.
Results: Less than 20% of participants discussed sleep at any time point with the health professionals they engaged with and discussions were predominantly initiated by the participants themselves. Medication-based outcomes were opted for more frequently at each time point than evidence-based non-pharmacological options.
Significance of the findings to allied health: Allied health professionals have considerable scope to consider and discuss sleep with older adults as part of their clinical practice and to provide older clients with evidence-based non-pharmacological interventions that could assist them to reduce, minimise or prevent sleep issues.